Skip to content

Negative Space Tattoos in Nairobi, Kenya

Negative space tattoos are a unique and visually intriguing style of tattoo art that involves using the un-inked or “negative” areas of the design to create a striking image. Instead of focusing solely on the positive space (the inked areas), negative space tattoos incorporate the blank space around and within the design to add depth, contrast, and complexity to the overall composition.

Negative Space Tattoos

These tattoos often play with the relationship between the foreground (the inked elements) and the background (the skin and un-inked areas), creating illusions, hidden images, or clever visual effects. Negative space can be used to define shapes, create outlines, or emphasize certain aspects of the design.

Key Features of Negative Space Tattoos

Negative space tattoos are characterized by their unique approach to design, utilizing the un-inked areas of the skin to create visually captivating and often thought-provoking compositions. Here are some key features of negative space tattoos:

  • Contrast and Depth: Negative space tattoos use the interplay between inked and non-inked areas to create contrast, depth, and dimension within the design. This contrast can make the tattoo appear more intricate and multi-dimensional.
  • Illusion and Creativity: Negative space can be manipulated to create optical illusions, hidden images, or clever visual effects. These tattoos often spark creativity by using the un-inked areas to convey a message or depict a concept that’s not immediately obvious.
  • Minimalism: Negative space tattoos often embrace minimalistic design principles, using simplicity and clean lines to convey meaning. The absence of excessive detail in some areas can highlight the significance of the inked elements.
  • Subtle Symbolism: Negative space can be employed to incorporate subtle symbolism or storytelling within the design. The un-inked areas can be used to convey hidden messages or add layers of meaning to the tattoo.
  • Silhouettes and Outlines: Silhouettes or outlines of objects, animals, people, or symbols are a common feature of negative space tattoos. By focusing on the outline of a subject, the tattoo achieves a distinctive and recognizable look.
  • Interactive and Dynamic: Negative space tattoos can create a sense of interactivity between the tattoo and the viewer’s perception. The way the mind fills in the gaps of negative space can lead to an engaging and dynamic viewing experience.
  • Aesthetic Balance: Skilled tattoo artists carefully balance the use of positive and negative space to ensure the overall design is harmonious and visually appealing. The negative space complements the inked elements, contributing to the overall composition.
  • Text and Lettering Integration: Negative space can be used creatively to incorporate text or lettering into the design. Words or phrases may be formed by the un-inked areas, making the text an integral part of the tattoo’s visual impact.
  • Unconventional Designs: Negative space tattoos encourage thinking outside the box, leading to unconventional and innovative designs that challenge traditional tattoo aesthetics.
  • Tattoo Placement: The placement of a negative space tattoo on the body can enhance its impact. Artists often consider the body’s natural contours and shape to ensure the negative space interacts effectively with the skin’s curves and lines.

Negative space tattoos require a skilled and experienced tattoo artist who understands the intricacies of this style. Collaboration between the client and artist is crucial to bringing the desired design to life while making the most of the negative space to achieve a captivating and meaningful tattoo.

Negative Space Tattoos Design Styles 

Creating a captivating negative space tattoo design involves using specific style techniques to effectively incorporate the un-inked areas into the overall composition. Here are some design style techniques for creating impressive negative space tattoos:

Minimalist Negative Space Tattoos

These tattoos focus on simplicity, using negative space to convey depth and detail. Minimalist designs often feature clean lines, basic shapes, and subtle shading to create an elegant and understated look.

Learn more about Minimalist Tattoos →

Blackwork Negative Space Tattoos

Blackwork involves using solid black ink to create bold and high-contrast designs. Negative space can be used to add intricate patterns, geometric shapes, or silhouettes against the black background.

Learn more about Blackwork Tattoos →

Geometric Negative Space Tattoos

This style utilizes geometric shapes and patterns to create visually stunning designs. The interplay between positive and negative space in geometric tattoos can result in mesmerizing and symmetrical compositions.

Watercolor Negative Space Tattoos

Watercolor-style tattoos use vibrant splashes of color to mimic the fluidity and unpredictability of watercolors. Negative space can be incorporated to create a sense of movement and contrast with the colorful ink.

Learn more about Watercolor Tattoos →

Portrait Negative Space Tattoos

Portraits in negative space tattoos focus on capturing the essence of a person or character using contrast and minimal lines. The play between light and dark areas can result in a dramatic and emotive effect.

Nature Negative Space Tattoos

This style incorporates elements from the natural world, such as animals, plants, and landscapes. Negative space can be used to outline the subjects, creating a harmonious relationship with the skin.

Surreal Negative Space Tattoos

Surrealism embraces the unusual and dreamlike. Negative space can be used to create bizarre or fantastical scenes, where the un-inked areas enhance the surreal atmosphere.

Learn more about Realism Tattoos →

Optical Illusion Negative Space Tattoos

These tattoos play with perception and optical tricks. By strategically using negative space, artists can create illusions of movement, depth, or hidden imagery.

Typography and Lettering Negative Space Tattoos

Negative space can be used to form letters, words, or phrases, making the text an integral part of the design. This style often involves clever placement and manipulation of the un-inked areas.

Abstract Negative Space Tattoos

Abstract designs allow for creative freedom, using shapes, lines, and patterns to convey emotion and meaning. Negative space can add mystery and complexity to abstract compositions.

Learn more about Abstract Tattoos →

Incorporating Cultural Symbols

Negative space can be employed to depict cultural symbols, icons, or motifs that hold significance for the wearer.

Interactive Negative Space Tattoos

These designs engage the viewer by inviting them to complete the image mentally. The mind fills in the gaps of negative space, resulting in an interactive and dynamic experience.

Remember that the success of a negative space tattoo design lies in the collaboration between you and your tattoo artist. Discuss your preferred style, subject, and any specific elements you want to include, and work together to create a design that effectively utilizes negative space to achieve the desired aesthetic and impact.

Schedule Appointment

Disclaimer: This is not a confirmed schedule, details provided will aid our specialists in planning a convenient time schedule that favours both parties when they get in touch with you for clarification.

Negative Space Tattoos

Negative Space Tattoos Healing and Aftercare

Proper healing and aftercare are crucial for ensuring that your negative space tattoo heals well and retains its intended appearance. While aftercare for negative space tattoos is generally similar to that of traditional tattoos, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind due to the unique design style. Here’s a guide to healing and aftercare for your negative space tattoo:

  • Follow Your Tattoo Artist’s Instructions: At Rebel Inks Tattoo Removal and Piercings Parlour we will provide you with specific aftercare instructions. These may include how to clean, moisturize, and protect your tattoo during the healing process. Follow these instructions closely to promote proper healing.
  • Keep the Tattoo Clean: Gently clean your tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Use your clean hands to avoid over-saturating the tattoo. Pat it dry with a clean, soft towel.
  • Avoid Soaking: During the initial healing phase, avoid submerging your tattoo in water. This means no swimming, hot tubs, or long baths. Quick showers are recommended.
  • Moisturize: Apply a thin layer of a tattoo-specific ointment or fragrance-free, alcohol-free moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated. Be cautious not to over-moisturize, as this can lead to excessive scabbing.
  • Protect from Sun Exposure: Sun exposure can fade the ink and damage healing skin. Keep your tattoo covered or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when exposed to the sun.
  • Avoid Scratching and Picking: It’s normal for your tattoo to itch during the healing process, but avoid scratching or picking at it. This can disrupt the healing and potentially cause scarring.
  • Loose Clothing: Wear loose, breathable clothing over your tattoo to prevent friction and irritation. Tight clothing can rub against the tattoo and hinder the healing process.
  • Avoid Saunas and Tanning Beds: Heat and excessive sweating can negatively impact the healing process. Avoid saunas, tanning beds, and intense physical activities during the initial healing period.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Proper hydration and a balanced diet can contribute to the healing process by supporting your body’s immune system.
  • Monitor for Infection: Keep an eye out for signs of infection, such as excessive redness, swelling, pus, or prolonged pain. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention promptly.
  • Scabbing and Peeling: It’s normal for tattoos to go through a scabbing and peeling phase during healing. Avoid picking at scabs, as this can pull ink out and damage the design.
  • Healing Time: The initial healing phase typically lasts about 2-3 weeks. However, complete healing and settling of the tattoo’s appearance may take several months.
  • Touch-Ups: Negative space tattoos may require touch-ups to ensure that the contrast between the inked and non-inked areas remains visually striking. Consult your tattoo artist if touch-ups are needed.

Remember that every person’s healing process is unique, and it’s important to listen to your body. If you have any concerns or questions about the healing of your negative space tattoo, don’t hesitate to reach out to your tattoo artist or a medical professional. Proper aftercare will help your tattoo heal beautifully and maintain its intended design.

Factors that you should consider when getting a Negative Space Tattoo

Getting a negative space tattoo requires careful consideration to ensure that the design effectively utilizes the un-inked areas and achieves the desired visual impact. Here are important factors to keep in mind when getting a negative space tattoo:

  • Concept and Design: Determine the concept or image you want to portray through negative space. Think about how the positive and negative spaces will interact to create the desired effect. Work with your tattoo artist to develop a design that effectively incorporates negative space.
  • Tattoo Artist Selection: Choose a skilled tattoo artist who is experienced in negative space tattoos. Look at their portfolio to ensure they have successfully executed this style before. Collaborate with them to refine your design and bring your vision to life.
  • Placement: Consider where you want to place the negative space tattoo on your body. Certain areas may provide better canvas for negative space effects. The tattoo’s placement can also impact how it interacts with your body’s contours.
  • Size and Complexity: Decide on the size of the tattoo and how intricate you want the negative space design to be. Smaller designs may require simplification to maintain clarity, while larger tattoos can accommodate more detail.
  • Subject Matter and Symbolism: Choose a subject or image that holds personal significance or meaning. Consider how negative space can enhance the symbolism or storytelling within the design.
  • Visual Balance: Balance between the inked and un-inked areas is essential. Ensure that the negative space complements the positive space and contributes to a visually harmonious composition.
  • Color Choice: While negative space tattoos often use black ink, you can discuss the possibility of incorporating color into the design to enhance contrast or add emphasis.
  • Healing and Aftercare: Understand that proper aftercare is crucial for a well-healed tattoo. Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions for cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting the tattoo during the healing process.
  • Long-Term Considerations: Think about how the negative space design will age over time. Fine details in negative space may blur or fade, so consider the longevity of the design’s visual impact.
  • Collaboration with Artist: Maintain open communication with your tattoo artist. They can provide insights and recommendations based on their expertise. Be open to their suggestions to ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Unique Aesthetic: Negative space tattoos offer a unique aesthetic, so embrace the unconventional and innovative aspects of this style. Allow for creativity and explore how negative space can enhance the overall design.
  • Personal Comfort: Consider your own comfort level with the visibility of the tattoo. Negative space tattoos can have a strong visual impact, so ensure you’re comfortable with the attention it may draw.
  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation with your chosen tattoo artist to discuss your ideas and expectations. Bring reference images and be prepared to discuss how you envision negative space being used in the design.

By carefully considering these factors and working closely with your tattoo artist, you can create a negative space tattoo that is not only visually captivating but also meaningful and well-executed.


Areas We Serve





Message Us

Open chat
Need help?
Rebel Inks Tattoos and Body Piercings
Hello, how can I help you?